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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Standards Subscriptions for 2015

Renewal notices have gone out to all current Technidyne standards subscription customers for 2015.

Starting with 2015 orders, shipping charges will be charged in addition to the subscription price.
Directional Calibration Standards
Sign up for multi-year subscriptions and save.
You may order up to a three-year subscription based on the 2015 pricing in order to avoid future price increases.

Save on subscription costs by paying early.
If you pay for your subscription by December 1, 2014, you will receive a 5% discount (on standards only, not shipping). Payment must be made on or before December 1 in order to receive this discount.

Diffuse Calibration Standards
Calibration subscriptions:
  • Prevent costly production losses
  • Prevent costly customer complaints
  • Ensure your equipment is in proper calibration
  • Provide traceability for your Quality System (ISO 9000)
  • Provide regular standards to prevent long periods between calibration and verification
  • Technidyne is an ISO Level III Authorized Laboratory
We will accept payment via MasterCard, Visa or American Express. To place an order by phone, just call Kim Bates at (812) 948-2884 ext. 127 or you may contact your local Technidyne Sales or Technical Service Representative. 

For other questions, email our Service Department.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Goering Center 2014 Family & Private Business Awards

Last night I attended an awards banquet for the University of Cincinnati Goering Center 2014 Family and Private Business Awards. For 2014, there were 570 companies nominated for these awards. Technidyne was one of 75 finalists. Unfortunately, we did not win. However, it is great to be recognized as one of the top family-owned companies in a 3-state area (Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky).  The following awards were presented:

     Private Business: 0-15 years
     Private Business: 16-50 years
     Private Business: 51+ years

     Family Business: 0-15 years
     Family Business: 16-50 years
     Family Business: 51+ years

I met many interesting people and never get enough of hearing the stories of how family businesses were started and the challenges they have faced. Congratulations to all of them.

I am very proud of what we have accomplished in 40 years in business. I appreciate the employees that have made Technidyne their family business as well.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Calibration: It's important, but am I doing it right?

Our primary customer contact at a facility in the U.S. was retiring. He called and asked if we could come in and provide a training session on color measurement. At the same time, he felt it would be good to review calibration and use of their Color Touch PC.

During the session some of their product was measured on their instrument. It was a blue sample. The reflectance curve looked like the red curve to the right.  It was obvious to me that something was wrong with the curve since it seemed 'chopped' off at the longer wavelengths. Normally, there would be at least some very low reflectance values beyond 540 nm.

When we asked for the black cup, they didn't know what that was. After explaining that the black cup is a machined black cavity which yields a very low reflectance. They looked around in the lab and found the black cup (left).  We used fresh calibration standards and the black cup to calibrate the instrument. 

This calibration procedure ensures that the following are correct: 
  • photometric linearity - the amount of reflectance (zero, 100% and points in between are correct)
  • spectral response - the energy level at specific wavelengths
  • fluorescence level - the amount of fluorescing resulting in whiteness levels for UV Level D65 and C

After calibration the standards were reread to verify that the calibration achieved the correct results for the standards. Then the customer product was measured again. The spectral curves below represent the correct reflectance curve (in blue) and the incorrect reflectance curve (in red).

This customer was not calibrating with the black cup. They were probably calibrating with the sample plunger in place (which has a higher reflectance than the black cup).  Also, they were using outdated paper calibration standards.  These are common mistakes for users.  Monthly calibration standards typically cost between US$1,000-2,000. This is far less than any customer claim on product that is sent back or rejected because the measured values are incorrect.

Make sure your standards are current and your procedure is correct by walking through this with a certified Technidyne Service Technician.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Technidyne Takes on ACA Systems in North America

Last week was a full week of training for Technidyne personnel.  Everyone gathered in New Albany, Indiana to get updates and training on new products and services.

Most of the time was spent on the products from ACA SystemsTechnidyne will sell and service ACA equipment in North America.  Established in 1986 ACA is a private company specializing in coating runnability, online paper porosity and dust analyzers for the Paper and Nonwoven Industries.  They have installed over 300 analyzers in 30 countries over the last 14 years.

Permi: On-line Porosity Analyzer

DPA: On-line Dust Amount Analyzer

ACAV A2 & ACAV A4: Runnability analyzers for coating colors and pigment slurries

DWR: Dynamic Water Retention Analyzer

NEW - Handheld Roll Hardness Tester - This was released at the recent PulPaper Conference in Finland.  We will share more on this in the coming weeks.

If you already have ACA equipment or if you have interest in any of these items, contact your local Technidyne sales and service representative for more information.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why Young and Old Don't See Things the Same

Human vision changes over time. When making visual assessments, we must understand these changes in order to better compare our assessments with others.

The chart above shows that transmission of light through the lens of the eye decreases with age. Even a newborn only has 92% transmission through the lens. This gradually decreases to around 30% transmission at 80 years of age.  Often, if the lens filters enough light out from reaching the retina where the rods and cones are located, people will have surgery to replace the foggy, old lens. This will increase the transmission of the lens as if it were 'younger'.

The chart above also illustrates that as people age the transmission of light through the lens of their eye changes. At 1 year of age, the spectral curve is relatively flat. This means that there is nearly the same amount of light transmission through the lens from 500-800 nm. There is some slightly lower transmission from 300-500 nm.  At 8 years of age, again, the spectral curve is relatively flat. However, the transmission is less at all wavelengths than age 1 year old. At 25 and 58 years of age, the spectral curve shows significantly lower transmission at all wavelengths. Also, the transmission drops off dramatically in the UV (300-400 nm) and blue (400-500 nm) part of the transmission spectrum. This all means that the lens is yellowing with age

All of this points out that people of different ages may see things differently due to the aging of the lens in their eye.  All people will age differently, too. So there is no way to mitigate these effects. It is important, however, to be aware that they exist.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

40th Anniversary Luncheon

We had our Technidyne 40th Anniversary luncheon yesterday at Technidyne. We were blessed to have nearly all our full-time employees from around the globe in attendance (we missed you, John A.). We also had a number of our retired employees attend.

Founder, Jerry Popson, recalling the early years at Technidyne.
After a great country-style meal, we enjoyed listening to Jerry Popson, founder and majority-owner, reminisce about the early years at Technidyne. Thanks to Jerry for being a good sport. I did not tell him ahead of time that I would be interviewing him in front of everyone.  Everyone learned a lot about the history of the company. From the origin of the name Technidyne (which could have been Jerrydyne) to the difficulty of starting a new business we all walked away with a better appreciation of the past.

We have a lot to appreciate about our past, but we also have a very bright future. Keep an eye on Technidyne as we charge ahead, beyond just 40 years in business!

Monday, August 11, 2014

What is the difference between gloss and haze?

There are three basic forms of reflection: specular, diffuse and mixed.

Specular Reflection

Specular reflection is when all of the light incident at a certain angle is reflected at the equal but opposite angle. In other words, the light coming in at 75° is reflected at the opposite 75°.

Diffuse Reflection

Diffuse reflection is when all of the light incident at a certain angle is evenly reflected at all possible angles (diffusely).

Mixed Reflection

Mixed reflection is a combination of specular and diffuse reflection.  The incident light has some measurable specular reflection, however there is still some diffuse component.

The following figure illustrates the relationship between specular reflectance and diffuse reflectance from low, medium and high gloss materials.  A light beam striking a low gloss sample will be diffused by the paper and reflect in all directions.  A sample with a high gloss surface will diffuse some of the incident light energy, however, much of the light will be reflected in mirror-like fashion which produces a "blip" on the curve at the specular angle, as shown.  A glossmeter will view the specular portion of the reflected light while excluding as much as possible of the diffuse reflectance.

High quality surfaces are expected to have a clear and brilliant appearance. Microstructures, e.g. poor dispersion, can cause a milky appearance.  The effect is described as milkiness or haze.  A high gloss surface with microscopic texture has diffused light with low intensity adjacent to the main direction of reflection.  The majority of the incident light is reflected in the specular direction (gloss) which makes the surface appear highly glossy with image forming qualities, but with a milky haziness on top of it. 

When gloss is measured, a certain aperture is used to capture the specular reflection. Haze is the reflection close the specular angle, but excluding the specular reflection (see below).

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Training: An Ongoing Education

Yesterday, Micky (Northeast Area Manager) and I did a training session at a customer site. We primarily did color theory training and instrument operator training on their Color Touch PC.

This reminded me of the importance of ongoing training. Many times we are exposed to certain applications or areas of knowledge an lose some of it (or ALL of it) over time when we don't come across that opportunity for a while. In other cases, we just don't know what we don't know.

Training can come in the form of conversation, reading, video, seminar and even searching the web.  An update, refresher or training outside our area of expertise can often lead to a new level of understanding and knowledge.  This is especially true when we receive training in a group setting. People with a different perspective or area of interest will ask questions that we would not otherwise be exposed to.

As Albert Einstein said, "Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death."

What kind of training/learning do you prefer?
  1. Conversation
  2. Reading
  3. Video
  4. Seminar
  5. Web search

Monday, August 4, 2014

How is Your Color Vision?

Very often in the Paper Industry we make visual evaluations of the product we are making. When this is done, we assume we are all seeing the same thing, however, we are not. One common reason is that some people have poor color vision.

'Color Blindness' (color deficiency) affects approximately 8-10% of men and 0.5% of women. There are different causes of color blindness. For the vast majority of people with deficient color vision the condition is genetic and has been inherited from their mother, although some people become color blind as a result of other diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis or they acquire the condition over time due to the aging process, medication etc.

Most color blind people are able to see things as clearly as other people but they unable to fully ‘see’ red, green or blue light. There are different types of color blindness and there are extremely rare cases where people are unable to see any color at all.

The most common form of color blindness is known as red/green color blindness and most color blind people suffer from this. Although known as red/green color blindness this does not mean sufferers mix up red and green, it means they mix up all colors which have some red or green as part of the whole color. For example, a red/green color blind person will confuse a blue and a purple because they can’t ‘see’ the red element of the color purple. See the example of pink, purple and blue pen cases below to understand this effect.
Normal Color Vision


Similar problems can arise across the whole color spectrum affecting all reds, greens, oranges, browns, purples, pinks and greys. Even black can be confused as dark green or dark blue.

The effects of color vision deficiency can be mild, moderate or severe so, for example, approximately 40% of color blind pupils currently leaving secondary school are unaware that they are color blind, while 60% of sufferers experience many problems in everyday life.

Statistically speaking most people with a moderate form of red/green color blindness will only be able to identify accurately 5 or so colored pencils from a standard box of 24 pencil crayons. Depending upon which type of the condition a color blind person is suffering from they could see the set of pencil crayons similarly to the following images.
Normal Color Vision



If you are asking your production, sales, customer service and other employees to make color determinations visually, maybe it's time you tested your employees for color deficiencies.